Four individuals have been elected to Georgia’s High Council of Justice earlier today amid a rally of civic activists and the calls of the US and the EU ambassadors to pause the process.
Earlier this week the ambassadors and opposition MPs urged for the postponement of the election of High Council of Justice members and judges of the Supreme Court before the implementation of judicial reforms in line with the EU-mediated agreement signed by the majority of Georgian political parties back in April 2021.
The opposition stated that the High Council of Justice, which selects and appoints judges in the country, is ‘run by a clan of judges’ and ‘is biased.’
EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell and US Ambassador Kelly Degnan have supported the moratorium on election the members of HCJ and judges of the country's Supreme Court. Photo: EU in Georgia press office.
The High Council of Justice, which is composed of 15 members, also selects judges for the country’s Supreme Court who are later voted on in parliament.
The previous selection of the Supreme Court judges caused a large turmoil and protests in the country.
The deputy head of Georgia’s Supreme Court Giorgi Mikautadze stated earlier today that the moratorium on the election of new members of the High Council of Justice would have ‘caused the collapse’ of the country’s court system.
He said that currently the High Council of Justice lacks one member, while the terms of nine other members are expiring in the coming months.
We have always approved the position of the country’s international partners for reforms. However, the reforms should not take place at the expense of the collapse of the Georgian justice system,” Mikautadze said.
The new judge members of the High Council of Justice are Levan Mikaberidze, Temur Gogokhia, Badri Shonia and Gela Abuseridze.